This article was originally published on Aradhana Dash’s LinkedIn Pulse.
As ironic as it may sound, when I started my career in IT, I had no knowledge of it. I was an electronics and instrumentation graduate and had only come across a few small examples of C and C++. When I was learning C and C++ in my college, the world had started running with the power of Java 5 and Spring 1X (of which I was totally unaware).
After the graduation when I decided to join an IT organization, I faced a lot of challenges while migrating from a non-IT sector. Somehow, I managed to learn Java 5 and thought that I have achieved the best thing. However, that elation was short lived. I was assigned to work for one of the clients and to my surprise, the requirement was on Spring 3X (not 1X, not 2X but 3X). I asked myself, “Was I sleeping for so long that the world has come so far and I have not noticed anything?”. So, I moved on and learned not only Spring 3x but other upcoming technologies like Hibernate and Ibatis.
All this while, I also learned that the world had already upgraded from Java 5, Java 6 and many other technologies. A lot had already changed and will keep on changing. I had to embrace this reality. Changes happen so we can overcome the problems we face with older technologies and to best provide solutions for our requirements.
I have worked with many different clients. Their requirements were different, so was their process, but there were three things common to all of them i.e. money, time and data.
And I wholeheartedly agree with them. For example, if I need to buy a rice cooker, I will also consider these three aspects.
- The rice cooker should consume less electricity (save my money)
- Cooks in less time and durable (saves my time and money, again)
- Also, cook healthy rice (take care of my food/data)
If I don’t get such a requirement fulfilled from one brand, what will I do? I will go for some other brand. That is exactly what our clients do. If they don’t get the best efficient solution which can handle their money, time, and data properly, they would probably go to someone else.
To provide the best possible solution I need to know the best possible technologies which can provide that solution. There is where the urge of ‘Learning more’ or ‘Knowing more’ comes.
For me, learning is a continuous process. What I know now, may work well for today’s problem, but it may not be efficient enough for tomorrow. And to keep my customer interested in my BRAND, I need to be ready for tomorrow as well, because when my customer comes up with a new demand tomorrow, I should be ready with the solution.
This realization prompted the decision of pursuing Big Data. Most of the time I faced client’s demand of retaining old data, but since that data eventually becomes huge, it becomes difficult to manage it and so does any further operation on it. Old technologies don’t provide an efficient way to handle such a huge influx of data.
In my search to understand, learn and enter the world of Big Data Technologies, I came across UpGrad’s Big Data Engineering Program from a forum where they discussed about the achievement of Big Data while satisfying the three important needs, it is cheaper (money), it handles the huge amount of data efficiently (data) by consuming less time (time).
I took a few introductions to Big Data classes. I did my research on it, what exactly is the demand these days and what exactly has been tried to achieve by introducing Big Data to IT.
And I found out that it is not only solving the problem of maintaining huge amounts of old data (that is just one aspect) but also provides many other features that not all other technologies are providing. And looking at all its benefits, I have decided to take a few steps more, towards learning Big Data.
Learning is hard because change is hard, but it never harms, rather it will add something more to your knowledge. I sometimes struggle when I am learning something new in Big Data but that’s the part of the learning curve I enjoy the most. But, when one starts learning like a child (i.e. from level 0), it becomes easier to learn new things.
Learning is always going to keep me two steps ahead. From my experience with learning new technology, I am not only giving better solutions to my clients, I can also win their faith. If you’re ready with a solution you would be able to describe most of the pros and cons of avoiding future surprises. Learning also helps me to compare technologies, to choose the best of them.
So keep learning, keep growing your knowledge, because it is never enough.
Note: All opinions expressed here are personal. It has nothing to do with my current or previous employers.